Thursday, March 21, 2013

Crunchy Ramen Snack Mix (Thrifty Thursday)

Nick and I like to go on mini vacations.  And when I say mini, I mean one or two nights.  We both have busy work schedules and one of us is typically working on the weekends, so longer vacations don't happen more than once a year (even that is a stretch).  When we do have time to hop in the car for a short trip, or long one, I always try to have healthy snacks on hand so we don't waste money stopping somewhere to eat, and because let's face it, healthier snacks and other foods are not abundant on the road.  Last September we traveled to North Carolina, by car, to get married.  I brought this Crunchy Ramen Snack Mix and now it will forever remind me of our wonderful trip to Bald Head Island, where we tied the knot and became bonded for life!

I wasn't a ramen noodle girl in college, but as a young child I loved it (maybe because I was naive when it came to nutrition back then?). I can remember my mom only allowing me to use half of the seasoning packet whenever I made ramen noodles.  She's so smart, making sure my sodium intake was limited, even as a young girl. It's really no wonder I became a dietitian! Thanks mom ;)

Last year I was miraculously recieving Everyday Food Magazine in the mail, which is apparently one of Martha Stewart's magazines. I found this recipe for Crunchy Ramen Snack Mix and thought it sounded, in one word, FANTASTIC.  When I went shopping to buy the ingredients (at the grocery store where I work) I was slightly embarrassed to be seen with ramen noodles in my cart (the dietitian is eating ramen noodles?!) so I was sure to carry the recipe with me to show people that I was just using the noodles, not the days-worth-of-sodium seasoning packet. And of course I was adding some quality protein and healthy fats. 

Crunchy Ramen Snack Mix
Makes Six Cups
Serves: 18 (1/3 cup per serving)
Estimated total cost: $4.00


2 packages ramen, broken into small pieces
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup cornflakes
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used canola)
4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/2 cup freeze dried wasabi peas


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a rimmed baking sheet toss ramen, cashews, peanuts, and cornflakes with oil until coated.  Spread mixture in an even layer.  Combine curry powder, cayenne, and salt in a separate small bowl; sprinkle over ramen mixture.  Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring 2 times in between.  Stir in wasabi peas and let cool completely before serving.

TIP:  Unless you are planning on using the peanuts and cashews later, shop for these ingredients in the bulk department so you only have to buy what the recipe calls for.

Serving size: 1/3 cup

Nutrition Highlights: Under 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, packed with unsaturated poly- and mono-unsaturated fats.

Yes, part of the mix got slightly burned, but....I liked it!

While I was definitely that annoying person who kept eating my favorite parts of this snack (the cashews and the wasabi peas) the combination of flavors tasted wonderful all together. It truly acted as a delicious snack the entire week of our trip, and we even had some leftover to enjoy for snacks in our lunches for weeks after.   It was delicious, and much cheaper than any trail or snack mix you could buy at the store.

             QUESTION:  What's your favorite snack to bring with you on road trips?

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd

NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. this looks like such a fun idea for trail mix! I usually bring some type of nuts and crackers to snack on.

  2. My fiance LOVES ramen - I have to remind him that he's not a broke college student anymore and how much sodium is in the seasoning. Somehow it makes it's way into our grocery cart once a month or so. Drives me crazy!!

    My favorite road trip snack is and always will be COMBOS - the cheddar craker flavor. I know they are TERRIBLE, but I just love them and it screams roadtrip to me! I try to balance it with other healthy options.

    1. Oh my goodness, Combos....what a blast from the past! I used to eat those all the time. I mean, they are still fine to eat, just as long as you can stop before eating the whole's hard to eat just a few of those things!

  3. Interesting use of ramen! I have such fond childhood memories of packing that stuff in my thermos for middle school lunch. And my mom always glaring disappointingly at my brother and I, and thinking "how could I let them eat that!?" I do remember the crunchy noodles being good uncooked though!

    I'm a huge fan of carrying nuts with me everywhere I go. I generally choose raw nuts. They're less addicting, healthier, and when you're actually truly hungry, are ridiculously satisfying. Brazil nuts especially. Just one or two, along with a handful of walnuts and/or almonds is my ideal combo.

    1. So funny that you mention brazil nuts. I never knew what they were until just a few months ago....and as it turns out I've been eating them forever, in my mixed nuts. I LOVE those things!

  4. I've bookmarked this for our next road trip. My favorite road foods are crackers, grapes, cheese sticks and there has to be coffee! :)

  5. The crunch factor in this recipe must be off the charts! Consider this officially bookmarked!

  6. I don't think I road trip enough to have a favourite road trip snack - it all depends on my mood, and what foods I've been into at the time. This does sound like a delicious mix - but why feel like you need to justify your purchases just because you are an RD? If we preach that "all foods can fit" in one way or another, then we shouldn't be worried about living by that mantra either, right? :D

  7. Favorite travel snack is pretzel sticks with little chunks of Cabot seriously sharp (white) cheddar cheese, cut into small bites to stick a pretzel into. Yes, they need to stay refrigerated, but I always carry an insulated bag with a frozen ice block for refrigerated items...